Unified Threat Management: what’s next and why

A recent study by the Aberdeen Group suggests that on average, more than 120 new vulnerability disclosures are made each week, nearly 90% of which could be exploited remotely, and more than 400,000 new examples of malware were identified in the last year. In the study, “Unified Threat Management (UTM): What’s In, What’s Next, and Why,” the top 20%, or Best-in-Class organizations based on performance, are 80% more likely than the bottom 30% of organizations, to consolidate IT security in a single device or service. For example, adopting a UTM strategy.

Across all respondents, reducing cost and complexity were the top drivers. Organizations that adopted a UTM strategy compared to those that chose not to experienced the following benefits over a 12 month period:

  • 20% reduction in actual threat/vulnerability related incidents
  • 14% reduction in audit deficiencies
  • 11% reduction in unscheduled downtime
  • 5% reduction in total associated staff.

Compared to ‘Laggards’, Best-in-Class organizations are nearly 3-times more likely to automate enforcement of policies, more than 2-times more likely to generate alerts, and about 50% more likely to block activities that violate policies. Knowing how to respond, responding quickly and efficiently, and not having to respond again in the future are directly linked with driving down ongoing management costs related to sustaining security and compliance. An organization may initially deploy a UTM solution to address a specific problem, such as spam, but in doing so, it establishes a flexible path for future expansion.

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